Antique furniture: a touch of class

Rare 19th century European furniture will go on sale at the Art and Soul gallery in Muscat this weekend

If you dig antique furniture crafted from mahogany, satinwood and walnut, which have stood for almost two centuries and each of which has interesting stories associated with their existence, a unique opportunity awaits you here in Muscat.

Richwood Antiques – a European company with over 25 years experience in sourcing and restoring exquisite 19th century antique furniture and decorative objects – in association with Art and Soul Gallery, in Water Front Shopping Centre, Shatti al Qurm, held an exhibition of rare 19th century European furniture in Muscat from May 20 to June 6 at 7 p.m. Now celebrating its tenth anniversary of trading in Oman and internationally, Richwood Antiques offers a bespoke service to source high value original 19th century European furniture and decorative items for both commercial and private projects.

Its entrepreneurial founder, Rosemary Whelan, originally from Ireland and resident in Oman for over a decade, is the sole supplier of antiques to the International Confederation of Art and Antiques Associations (CINOA) in the Middle East. This benchmark membership guarantees the highest standards of quality, expertise and integrity. Rosemary is also an active member of the Irish Antique Dealers Association and served on its council for many years.

Following the unprecedented success of his first exhibition at the Bait Al Zubair Museum in 2011 and to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Richwood Antiques in Oman, Whelan has partnered with Art and Soul Gallery to offer the public a rare opportunity to view a number impressive works. 19th century furniture from the UK, Ireland and the best the European market has to offer.

“I am really delighted to have this opportunity to show beautiful classic furniture for the Omani and expatriate communities to enjoy. I take great pride in the work I do in Oman, with individuals, families and organizations, providing bespoke statement pieces that are so well received and appreciated by our diverse clientele. This public exhibition is a wonderful opportunity for those new to the personalized service we provide to learn more about the work we do and how we take so much pride in helping our customers here in the Sultanate,” Whelan said. .

Visitors will be treated to exquisite, skillfully handcrafted pieces constructed from exotic woods such as mahogany, lemon and walnut, which have been expertly carved to incorporate intricate inlays and brass work. The public is encouraged to peruse the sought-after selection of exquisite French gilt mirrors, console tables, mahogany-framed sofas, inlaid chairs and decorative polished brass lamps.

Notable mahogany items not to be missed include a magnificent hand-polished English dining table built in 1850 from the finest South American wood, an impressive Victorian cabinet stamped by renowned British furniture makers – Lamb of Manchester and a unique exhibition of 19th century Irish sculpture. – quality sideboard by Robert Strahan of Dublin.

Passion and job

How many pieces will be exhibited, are they all for sale?

This exhibition will present for sale more than 100 very rare and unique pieces of antique furniture and decorative gilded mirrors.

How will this exhibition be different from the previous one?

This exhibition will include much of the latest collection of items all sourced and handpicked from Ireland, the UK, France and Italy. Items that have never been offered in the Omani market before.

In the current scenario, do you expect moderate interest?

The feedback and response to our initial announcement has been overwhelmingly positive. An exhibition of this caliber is always greeted with great enthusiasm and interest. Rare and high quality antiques, regardless of the economic climate, have a long history of maintaining and increasing in value. In an environment where properties, stocks, shares and financial investments are unpredictable, it is quite common for savvy buyers to look to antiques and fine art as an alternative investment to other financial options.

If you buy a beautiful antique and place it in your home or office, it will cause a stir. It is there to be used, enjoyed and admired. Your investment remains securely displayed in your home. It’s not a piece of paper or a document to be secured and hidden away in your safe and never enjoyed.

The advice I received many years ago – Buy chairs, not stocks – did not disappoint me.

What arrangements are in place to ensure safe visits by interested persons?

All pandemic protocols will be in place to ensure the safety of all our visitors and will be executed with the permission of the relevant authorities.

What is it about antique furniture that you love the most that has become, shall we say, “an obsession”?

It’s a difficult question to answer in short, but I’ll try. There are so many things to not just love, but to love! I can’t help but respect the story behind each article. The story he can tell. The know-how and the quality of its construction. Uniqueness and beauty. A simple chair can tell you the story of its life through the wear of its armrests, the patina of the wood or the fabric of its seat. Once you understand, you’re hooked! I am fortunate that my passion for antiques became my profession from an early age and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and appreciation with those who are interested.


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